As a clinical lab director, you are driven by two forces which, at first glance, may seem in opposition to each other. The first is your commitment to delivering accurate diagnostic test results to healthcare providers, a responsibility critical to ensuring that patients receive the most effective and timely treatment possible. In your lab, this means instituting a strong quality control (QC) program aimed at ensuring test performance and preventing the release of inaccurate results. The second driving force is the responsibility you have towards to running an efficient, cost-effective clinical lab operation. This entails the responsibility to manage resources efficiently, to stay within allotted budget guidelines, and to avoid unnecessary spending. The obvious assumption is that higher quality translates into higher costs (and bigger budgets). Look closer, however, and you’ll discover that the two forces outlined above are not necessarily opposed. As you’ll see below, increasing accuracy and reliability in a clinical testing lab — through investment in additional QC measures, such as high-quality third-party controls — can actually translate into decreasing costs. Staying within budget and providing reliable results can go hand in hand.